Predator: Hunting Grounds isn’t exactly perfect stuff, thanks to a number of bugs and a shoddy design wrapped up in the skin of a game that would be more at home visually in the PlayStation 3 era, but beneath the complaints there exists a decent game. An experience of tension, dread and wondering who on your squad will be the next victim of a hunter from another planet whose face resembles a military-grade combat vagina.
What the latest Predator game does get right, is authenticity. Its take on the Predator himself is that of a nimble and lethal bruiser, one who can easily take down a single soldier but has to use cunning and deadly gadgets to wipe an entire team off the map. The various designs of the Predator look great, the limited jungle setting ties in with the original film source material and the only thing missing from the game is the Arnold Schwarzenegger himself.
Or he was missing. After getting to dah choppah, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character of Alan “Dutch” Schaefer is back in action. As a guiding voice and as extra DLC that players can purchase because of course, people will pay for that.
With a few extra decades on the clock, Dutch’s presence will be felt throughout the game in various tapes that players can find in the game world. “The premise of it is Dutch recorded these tapes since ‘87 after the first movie,” Jared Gerritzen, chief creative officer at Hunting Grounds developer IllFonic, said to Entertainment Weekly.
Throughout these tapes, there are those arrows [pointing to] what he’s doing, kind of like safeguards if he gets killed or captured. These tapes are gonna be used to essentially keep his story going.
Schwarzenegger has been absent from the world of Predator after his single tour of duty in 1987, deciding to skip out on several films and mercifully avoiding the trainwreck that was 2018’s The Predator. That leaves Illfonic in a unique position to craft a new narrative for the character, one that hasn’t been seen since Capcom decided to augment the legend for their arcade game back in the 1990s. “Our team at IllFonic sanity-checked it with me,” Gerritzen said of the massive job of crafting Dutch’s story.
We had a lot of meetups, working with myself and the design team, to get this story to be bulletproof because we do weave it throughout the universe. It’s not like after ’87 [Dutch] went and did nothing to do with the universe. We actually tied it to the universe. When you start working on an IP like this, you start throwing out crazy ideas.
It was one of those things where it was like, ‘Hey, Arnold’s never come back. He hasn’t come back in any of the movies, he hasn’t come back in any of the books or any of the comics. What can we do with this?’
It’ll be a fun Easter egg for those players who are invested in Hunting Grounds currently, persevering through the current bug-infested game that feels like a glorified alpha version of what it should be. On the plus side, at least it’ll be nice to hear Arnie telling everyone to get to the military rotocraft transport vehicle with due haste.
Last Updated: May 13, 2020